My Christmas Mantel~

Today I wanted to share with you my Christmas Mantel. It has always been a tradition in my house to decorate for Christmas on the day after Thanksgiving. And so, rather than braving the crowds on Black Friday morning...my little family and I braved the cold to go pick out a Christmas tree. (Which I'll share later.) Then it was back home to spend the remainder of the day hard at work getting our house ready for the holidays.

I mentioned in an earlier post that this year I had a neutral palette in mind. Mostly silver and white with touches of black...and green of course...and everything turned out just the way I envisioned it.

So without further ado, I present this year's Christmas mantel.

Circumstances being what they are this year, I was working with an exceptionally small budget for Christmas decorating. So my goal was to use things I already had. And when I absolutely had to supplement, I either created what I needed myself, (look for upcoming tutorials on my DIYs) or I found it at the dollar store. Now, I know I talk a lot about frugal decorating on this little old blog. And I practice what I preach. But the trick is, my dear readers, not to have the space look frugal. Sure, use things from the dollar store....but NEVER let it look like you used things from the dollar store. Caviar decorating on a tuna fish budget...

Here's how I accomplished this look...

The garland is one that I have had for a few years. It is just a simple craft store faux garland that I beefed up by doubling it. Then I added in a spring green berry garland and lights. I made it even more festive by attaching a few dollar store snowflakes and some pretty white and silver ribbon from Michael's Craft. (The ribbon is actually holding the garland up...because the mantle is rough stone, I couldn't come up with another way to attach the garland...so I nailed the ribbon to the wall just above the mantel and then tied the garland with the ribbon...an easy-peasy solution!)

Then for the glitz factor, the ornament wreath. I made this darlin' out of dollar store ornaments. Really, I did. And I'll share a tutorial on just how I did it later.

Next, the fabulous faux mercury glass candle holders. Another little DIY (again, tutorial to come).

I also re-used my sweet chenille Christmas trees, just popped them on top of some brushed nickle candle holders that I pulled out of my decor storage. (I highly recommend keeping a decor staging storage area if you don't already have one. It really helps when you want to switch things around.)

The topiaries are on the mantel year round...but I made them a little more festive by adding sweet little bird ornaments.

And finally, the pretty stockings that I made a couple of years. The boys' stockings are made out of tan linen that I repurposed from an old jumper and the girls' stockings are made from a repurposed baby quilt. I just love their understated elegance.

Oh, and the basket on the hearth holds my collection of Children's Christmas books. I simply adore them, and the kids and I have a great time reading them every day of the Christmas season! It's one of our favorite traditions.

I just love it at night with the lights twinkling....magical!

So there you have it! My 2010 Christmas Mantle! I'm linking to the Mantel party at The Lettered Cottage! Hop over and check out all the festive fun!

Have a great day~


Frugal Friday~

This post is sponsored by Silhouette.

With all the Thanksgiving preparations this week, I am still working my way through last week's Frugal Friday posts...so I'm going to have a double-size edition of the Frugal Roundup for next week's Frugal Friday.

That's okay though, because I have a great deal to share with you all today!

Silhouette Electronic Cutting Tool

For the remainder of the month of November, you can get a Silhouette Electronic Cutting Tool for only $199 - that's a savings of $100!! Not only that, but they'll also send you a Home Decor CD (a $55 value) absolutely free with purchase! All you need to do to get this great deal is to use the code "SHABBY" at checkout.

Silhouette cutter pictured with computer monitor
I simply adore my Silhouette Cutter....I have been using it almost non-stop for the past couple of days making all kinds of Holiday decorations that I will be sharing with you in the next few weeks! This is a SUPER deal...you can give it as a gift...or gift yourself with one (I know you've been wanting one!) But hurry, this offer is only good until the end of the month! And remember, in order to get this great deal, you must enter the code "SHABBY" at checkout.

Now it's your turn!

You know "da rules"...

1. Please link directly to your post and not just to your blog.
2. Please link back to The Shabby Nest so that others can enjoy the Frugal goodness.
3. Please leave comments on the posts that you visit...help our participants feel the love!

If you link up to the party, but fail to link back to The Shabby Nest, you may have your post removed. Likewise, I reserve the right to remove posts that are not in keeping with the spirit of the Frugal Friday party...ie those posts that link to your business, your giveaway, or those that are not about Frugal projects and Frugal Finds. Let's all play fair. Mkay?

This post was sponsored by Silhouette.  The opinions expressed are 100% mine.

Super Black Friday Deal from Canvas People~

This post is sponsored by Canvas People.

Just wanted to let all of my wonderful readers know that Canvas People is offering an amazing Black Friday deal...

Hurry over and get a fabulous photo on canvas...a perfect gift idea!!

This post is sponsored by Canvas People.  The opinions expressed are 100% mine.

I Am Thankful~

Thanksgiving this year is especially poignant for me. After nearly losing my husband this year, the important things in life were thrown into sharp perspective for me.
And so this year, the things that I am most grateful for are life and family.
Everything else is just frosting on the cake.
These are my greatest blessings.

Thank you for being such wonderful blog readers! I am so thankful that I can come and visit with you all here.

And today, I wish you all many things to be grateful for.

xoxo Wendy


Holiday Inspiration~

I decorate for Christmas on the day after Thanksgiving. I just like to give Thanksgiving its due. A lot of times I feel like it is the forgotten holiday. Wedged in there between Halloween and Christmas...the prelude to Black Friday. And, honestly, Thanksgiving is one of my very favorite holidays. So I wait until the next day to pull out my Christmas decor. (No offense to anyone that likes to decorate pre-Thanksgiving...I KNOW it's hard to wait.)

But, all of that said, I start thinking about and preparing my Christmas decor long before that. (Like right after Halloween.) And this year I've decided to go with mostly whites and silvers. I have a lovely neutral palette running through my head.

....And then my copy of Country Living arrived. And I saw these photos....

And I swooned. I just love them. all. Interesting how this pale-on-pale Christmas color scheme seems to be popping up all over the place this year. I guess great minds think alike, huh?

And today I am especially thankful for a warm house to live in as a blizzard rages outside and the temperatures plummet to the low teens. I know how blessed we are. How very blessed.

Have a great day~


My Take on the DIY Sunburst Mirror and a Winner~

So I've seen all of the fabulous Sunburst Mirrors cropping up around blogland...and I knew that I was going to have to make me one. Trick was, I could only use things that I had hanging around the house. Luckily, I've found that having limitations like that, often works in my favor. I am forced to think outside the box...so I thought. and I thinked. and I thunk. and then I remembered this pretty little thing!

I made this wreath at the beginning of the book-wreath-craze last year. I even shared a tutorial on how you can make one of your own, so I'll spare you all the repetition here, but you can check it out if you'd like to know more.
I've been in love with this wreath ever since I made it, but I thought that perhaps it might want a little sprucing up. I mean who (or what) doesn't want a little bling, right?

My mother is always a great source of free goodies, so I asked her if she "happened" to have a round mirror that she didn't need. Of course she did. I was in luck.

Then all I did was whip out "old blue" my trusty glue gun, and glue the mirror onto the wreath. Simple.

And now I have a fabulous sunburst mirror.


And the winner of the EcoNaturals Soap giveaway is Melissa who said "I'd love to try out these products. Especially the lip balm!" Congratulations, Melissa!!! Please drop me an email and we'll get you set up with your fabulous prize!

Have a great day~

Pumpkin Pie Popsicles! A Guest Post~

Today I'm excited to have my dear friend Damaris visiting us here at The Shabby Nest. Damaris writes a lovely cooking blog...and is beautiful and talented and all around wonderful....and she has come up with a ROCKIN' dessert for Thanksgiving that she's going to share with all of us today. What a great way to start off the week!

Hi, my name is Damaris but you can call me Da. I met Wendy when I was in college. She was married and had two young children at the time. Her home was wonderfully stylish, wonderfully cozy, and wonderfully clean. I loved being over at her house but it wasn't until I had a family of my own that I thought back many times on Wendy's sense of style and wondered "how did she do it all?"

Well, as you can see by her beautiful blog and this wonderful space that she's created that she continues to do it! I feel honored to share a recipe on The Shabby Nest. Thanks Wendy!

Here is the scoop, I blog at Kitchen Corners about cooking for and with my kids. I always encourage my children to try new things and am proud to say that I am NOT a picky eater. There is one thing, though, that I don't love. It's called pumpkin pie. To be honest, I don't even really like it. Basically, I tolerate this traditional Thanksgiving dessert. Maybe it's because I'm Brazilian and didn't grow up with Thanksgiving feasts. I don't know. It baffles me because I love food. Wait, that's an understatement, I adore food. I live for food and pumpkins are king, whip cream is heavenly, and pie crusts are the world's best culinary invention. Still, I don't like pumpkin pie.

So my 4-year-old and I came up with a recipe that has all the goodness of pumpkin pie, only in a different format. I present you the pumpkin pie popsicle. I love the pumpkin pie popsicle and am making it on Thursday for those of us who loves a little variation.

This is an easy recipe to make totally doable with kids.

1cup Libby's Pumpkin Pie mix
1 heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/4 cup crushed graham crackers

1.In a blender mix the heavy cream with sugar and cinnamon in high speed for 30 seconds. Place inside a large gallon sized plastic bag.

2.Mix The cup of Libby's Pumpkin Pie Mix with the milk in a blender in high speed for 30 seconds. Place in a separate gallon sized plastic bag.

3.Cut a small hole on one tip of the plastic bag that has the pumpkin mix. This will help you pour the mixture into your popsicle molds.

4.Pour the pumpkin mixture into the Popsicle molds 3/4 full.

5.When the pumpkin mixture has frozen, add the whip cream mixture by cutting a small hole on the plastic bag and pouring it until the Popsicle mold is completely full.

6.Sprinkle crushed graham crackers on top of the whip cream and freeze.

7.Serve when popsicles are completely frozen.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

When I met Damaris we were both living in Massachusetts, she live in sunny California now...a perfect place for popsicles, but I'll tell you what...even with the snow outside that has been dumping on us here in Utah, my kids would devour Pumpkin Pie Popsicles in a heartbeat! Thanks Damaris!!!

Tomorrow I will be announcing the winner of the EcoNaturals Soap giveaway....so there 's still time to enter if you haven't had a chance!

And for my November thankful thought today: I'm thankful for getting to spend time with my two older kiddos and the Hubby this weekend on our "date" to see Harry Potter. Good times with great kids...oh how I love them!

Have a great day~


This Week's Ideabook on Houzz: Making the Most of your Hallway~

This week on Houzz, I'm talking about creating usable space out of hallways. Don't overlook these utilitarian spaces. By incorporating the ideas in the inspirational spaces I'm sharing this week, you can make your hallway fabulous!

Surf Road House 15 traditional hall

Christmas Showhouse 2009 first floor foyer traditional hall

lowcountry river house traditional hall

To see the whole story, click on the badge below.


Frugal Friday~

Hello out there in Blogland! Welcome to this week's edition of Frugal Friday!

Last week's collection of Frugal Friday entries was so much fun to look through! It was really hard for me to narrow it down to just a few for my Frugal Round-up. But I did my best...and here are a few of my favorites.

First up, my bloggy friend Jennifer Rizzo shared an uber-fabulous hutch makeover. I just love me a pretty hutch! Oh yes I do.

Next, Impatiently Praying for Patience shared a very clever desk redo with chalkboard paint. This was one of those moments when I slapped my forehead and said "why didn't I think of that!" It's the perfect idea!

Glazed From the Heart shared this darling painted stair makeover. I'm loving leopard print right now, so I really loved this!

Faith's Place shared her very pretty dining room makeover. Love the wainscotting! Love the color scheme. Mmmmmmmmmmm.

Finally, Bees Knees bungalow shared her fresh and crisp diamond wall treatment. Loooove it!

Now it's your turn!

You know the rules.
1. Please link directly to your post and not just to your blog. If you just link to your blog when someone tries to find the post later, they won't be able to.
2. Please link back to the Shabby Nest so that others can enjoy the frugal goodness.
3. Please leave comments for the authors of the posts you visit. Let's help our participants feel the love!

Pretty, Pleated Pillow: A Tutorial~

A little while ago I posted about the fact that I wanted to spruce up the Princess' bedroom. I started by changing out the wall behind her dresser and adding a canvas photo and some brown vinyl polka-dots. (The Princess had asked that we include brown in her room...and since we live in a rental home, painting was out of the question, so in came the polka-dots). Please disregard the desperately-in-need-of-a-makeover dresser...it's coming.

After adding the dots, I knew that I was going to have to find other ways to bring the brown color into her room.

I love pillows. In fact, I may just have a little bit of a pillow addiction problem. So I decided that adding some brown in the form of a pillow was a good idea. But I wanted the pillow to feel feminine as well. And since the other pillows on her bed have a good deal of pattern to them, I wanted it to be a solid color. And, oh yeah, I had to use what I already have on hand. (That's a pretty tall order, huh?)

Luckily, I had some brown velvet in my fabric stash, leftover from some projects in the boys' room in our old house. I also happened to have quite a bit of the brown wired ribbon that I used to "hang" the canvas photo on her polka-dot wall. So here is what I came up with.

A pretty, pleated pillow. Now, if you are a sewing perfectionist, I implore you to stop reading at this point. But if you believe that imperfections only make things better, I have a little tutorial for you. (And if you're neutral on the whole imperfections issue, you'll probably like the tutorial as well.)

What you'll need:

  • Fabric (about 1/2 yard)

  • A pillow form or polyfil...I usually like to stuff my pillows with polyfil, but in this case, I had an existing pillow that I was recovering, and it had an insert, so that's what I used.

  • 2 1/2" wired ribbon

  • Matching thread

  • Pins
  • Measuring tape


1. Start by cutting two squares of fabric about 1/2" larger all the way around than your pillow form. (In this case I was using a 14" pillow form, so I cut 15" squares)

2. Cut 5 lengths of ribbon approximately twice as long as the squares you just cut. I usually add another inch or two for good measure.

3. Pick the square that you would like to be the front of the pillow and measure one side (this will be the top of your pillow) to find the center. Pin the top of one piece of the ribbon in it's center at the center point of the pillow front.

4. Working from the center, pin each additional piece at the top, so that each piece is parallel with the piece next to it. (You will notice in the photo, that there are pins running parallel to one of the edge pieces. I use these as a guide on the first piece that I sew to make sure that I keep it straight. After the first piece is sewn, I then use it as a guide for the second piece, and so on.)

5. Begin sewing one of the edge pieces. Approximately every 2" fold the piece back on itself about 1/2" to create a pleat. Then continue sewing right over the pleat you've created. Continue to do this for the entire length of the ribbon. This is where being a perfectionist is discouraged. (Well, impossible, in my case.) I simply eyeball these pleats. They are by no means perfect. But once you get the hang of it, you can eyeball it pretty easily.

6. Continue this same process with each ribbon. The pleats do not need to line up with the pleats in the previous piece. In fact, the overall piece will look better if the pleats do not line up. (Trust me on this.)

7. Once you have finished sewing all the ribbon. Pin the right sides of both fabric pieces together and sew, leaving a 1/2" seam allowance. Make sure to leave one side about half way open so that you can slip your pillow form in.

8. Trim the edges, clip the corners and then turn the pillow right side out. Put the pillow form in the pillow and close with an invisible hand stitch.

That's it!

Here's the pillow on the Princess' bed...just the right touch!

My November thankful thought for today....I am thankful for some bloggy love on Ohdeedoh. My canning jar frames were featured on their fabulous website yesterday! Eeek!!

Have a great day~


EcoNaturals: A Great Day for a Giveaway~

This post is sponsored by EcoNaturals.

Hey Everybody! I was still feeling a bit under the weather yesterday, so I don't have a tutorial for you. But I have something a whole lot more fun! A giveaway!!

I'd like to introduce you to a great product line of all natural body products from EcoNatural Soaps. I was contacted a few weeks ago by Alicia Hicks - who along with her husband Alan and daughter Heather - runs the company, to see if I would like to try some of their products. I was really excited to try them...ever since my boys were diagnosed with Alpha-1, I have been interested in finding natural products, and environmentally-friendly alternatives to household products, anything that is better for our bodies and our earth. And that's exactly what the Hicks are trying to accomplish with their line of products.

I was happy to receive an assortment of their products including the Seaweed and Cucumber complexion bar and balm, the Bath and Body bar, and the Exotic Butter Balm in citrus blend and the Luscious Lips lipbalm. I have really liked these products. The lipbalm is great for keeping my lips moisturized in this dry Utah winter air. And I just love the citrus scent of the bath and body bar and the exotic butter balm. As a matter of fact, I just used the balm on my hands not long before starting this post, and I am loving the lingering smell of citrus. Not to mention the fact that the with the balms, a little bit goes a long way, and my hands stay soft!

Now, I can't begin to go into all of the research that the Hicks have put into creating their products, or all the benefits that each of the varying products have. But I CAN direct you to their website so that you can see the products for yourself.

And once you've had a chance to peruse their range of products, you'll be excited to know that one lucky reader of the Shabby Nest will have a chance to win their choice of 2 soaps, 1 balm and 1 lipbalm! That's right! You'll get your own personal selection of the above listed items! You know the drill, just leave me a comment and you'll be entered to win!

And if you want to learn more about being earth-friendly, check out Alicia's new blog, Eco Friendly Homemaking. (I really loved the post about the wool dryer balls...I'm off to goodwill to find me some wool sweaters!)

Oh, and I forgot again yesterday, so here are two of my November Thankful Thoughts... First up, I'm thankful for the Hubby who hobbled around all day two days ago to take care of things while I was sick. Next, I'm thankful for rebates that come in the mail just in time to replace all four tires on our minivan. (We're definitely being blessed.)

Good luck and Have a Great Day!

This post was sponsored by EcoNaturals.  The opinions expressed are 100% Mine.